My Maternity Photoshoot!

I’m skipping this week’s Thursday Tea to share the images from my African maternity photoshoot! I’m SO so happy with how the photos came out – I want to frame every single one and put them all through the apartment!

For the shoot, I wanted to do two different looks: one that celebrated Jonathan and my African heritage, and will remind our child of their pan-African origin, and another one that was more intimate and romantic. I knew ahead of time that I’d want to keep the intimate images private and not share them on social media – I’ve talked before about the delicate balance of having a public persona and keeping things to yourself, and this is one way I navigate that dilemma. So the images in this post are mostly from the African maternity photoshoot concept, but I included 1 teaser image from the second concept because I just couldn’t resist!

Ankara Maternity Photoshoot | Ijeoma Kola
African Maternity Photoshoot | Ijeoma Kola
Ankara Maternity Photoshoot | Ijeoma Kola
African Maternity Photoshoot | Ijeoma Kola

Super excited that I got to work with an all female team for this shoot, which was so important since we were celebrating womanhood and motherhood. I took a giant risk by working with people I’d never met before, but everything came out so wonderfully – I highly recommend all these creatives!

Photography: Lyra Aoko​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Makeup: Mdeizi Makeup

Body Art: Khaduri Creative (What’s crazy is that a few days after I brainstormed my mood board, Khaduri slid into my email offering to do a body art maternity shoot for me. Our visions were so aligned, and I immediately said yes! The body art really set the images over the top, without feeling costume-y or appropriating.)

Hair: done by me (an old blowout then braided with Carol’s Daughter Coco Creme Coil Enhancing Moisture Butter)

Nude Bikini: Nubian Skin

Ankara Fabric: Hi-Target, purchased from African Fabric & Designs Kenya (by Adams Arcade)

Beaded Necklace: Aphia Sakyi

Earrings: bought in Harlem at the Malcolm Shabazz Market but similar ones here

And now for the sneak peak of the 2nd concept! For those who know the story of my wedding, I actually forgot my veil at home so didn’t get to wear it on the big day, so knew I wanted to incorporate it in my maternity photos at some point. GIRLLLLL!!! This is probably my favorite picture ever taken of me ever in life. My goodness!!!

Maternity Photoshoot with Veil | Ijeoma Kola

I had a lot of other ideas for the maternity shoot, but I’ll have to save them for the next time we’re pregnant (God willing)! If you’re pregnant, I highly recommend taking maternity photos – it’s a great way to commemorate the strength and beauty of your body, and makes it much easier to forget all the annoying aspects of pregnancy!

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